Jols Restaurant Merthyr Tydfil .. A review

I have been meaning to write this review for ages but holidays etc got in the way so finally here it is. I was so excited when I heard Jol's was opening in Merthyr Tydfil. I had heard of Jamie O'Leary and Jol's from the Cardiff street food scene and knowing he had trained with Stephen Terry at The Hardwick meant I thought it was going to be something special. I live in the Cynon Valley but work in the Merthyr Valley and Merthyr does not have a reputation for fine dining so it was so brave of him to undertake this venture but it seems to have certainly paid off. I was lucky enough to receive a voucher from my lovely Nursing team and managed to visit in June.

The building housing Jols has been beautifully refurbished and on the evening we visited all the windows were open which made it a light and airy space, I would imagine in the winter it would be a cosy, intimate venue. There are bigger tables for larger parties downstairs but the main dining room has various tables at different levels so it doesn't seem too crowded.

My starter was confit rabbit leg terrine with pickled spring veg, piccalilli puree and sourdough crisp. This was lovely so light and not gamey at all the pickled veg made it really fresh tasting. My husband had the pan fried scallops with hummus, ras al hanout spiced cauliflower,raisins, almonds, coriander and grilled flatbread. We always share a taste of our meals when out so we get to try a bit of everything and I loved this dish too. I would never have thought of hummus with scallops but the delicate scallop was wonderful with the rich hummus and light spices.

For our main course I had Home cured collar of pork with spring cabbage, salt baked turnip, braised stem artichokes, sage and minced collar sauce. This was so good, really tasty and although it sounds like a heavy dish it really wasn't it had really rich flavours and I love sage with pork and you could really taste it in the sauce. I also want to give the salt baked turnips a try at home they were delicious. My husband had what he has declared as the best steak he has ever had and that is some statement coming from him!

His steak was a grass fed sirloin steak with grilled baby gem lettuce and brown butter breadcrumbs, triple cooked chips and chimichurri dressing. As said his steak was perfectly cooked and loved the chimichurri dressing when I've tried it previously elsewhere sometimes it tastes a bit 'grassy' but this was a beautiful fresh garlicky, herby dressing. We almost switched plates but neither of us wanted to let ours go. Portions are generous too and I was too full for dessert but my husband can never resist.

For dessert my husband had chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce, macadamia nut praline and vanilla ice cream. I confess I had to try a little of his and it was so good a soft , deeply chocolatey brownie with the salted caramel was divine and again a good sized portion which was just as well after I 'helped' him with his dessert.

The service was excellent the perfect blend of friendly enough so you didn't feel uncomfortable as you can at some fine dining establishments and formal enough that you knew you were enjoying a fine dining experience.

The wine list was very good, Reasonably priced wines and while on the subject the prices are incredible for the level of expertise and quality of the food. We had a really lovely evening, very relaxed and cannot wait to visit again I highly recommend it to anyone and if you aren't local well worth the trip up the A470.

30-31 High Street
Merthyr Tydfil

01685 267878

*All food and wine paid for by myself*

Popular posts